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Spotlight On: Remitly

Updated on Mar 05, 2020
Remitly

Remitly is a Seattle-based online international money transfer company cofounded in 2011 by Matt Oppenheimer in an effort to make money transfer easy, inexpensive, and fast, especially for immigrants. It lets you send money online from 16 developed countries like the U.S., U.K., Ireland, Australia, Canada, and some European countries to over 50 countries all around the world.

Remitly is a strong contender in the fierce startup race in the money transfer industry which was largely dominated by old players like commercial banks, Western Union, and MoneyGram. So far, Remitly has raised a total of $420M in funding with the latest one being $135M in 2019.

How to send money through Remitly?

You can send money through Remitly from anywhere with an internet connection through a mobile app or their website. Follow these simple steps:

  • Create an account with the sender’s details including email address, name, address, phone number, etc or use Remitly login
  • Select the destination country and the amount you are sending 
  • Enter the recipient’s details 
  • Choose a payment method 
  • Click “Send Money” and your money is on its way

Why send money through Remitly?

Money transfer service providers make money through fees or exchange rate arbitrage. If the Real Estate business is about “Location, location, location,” the Money transfer business is all about rates, fees, and speed. Make sure you are looking out for those factors, when you compare Remitly to other money transfer service providers in the industry.

Transfer Limit

Here is why you should send money through Remitly:

  • Speed - You have two options to choose from in terms of transfer speed:
    • Economy: It may take up to 3-5 business days for the transfer to reach the recipient. But senders can enjoy a much higher exchange rate for a lower transfer fee. You will have to pay for this transfer from your bank account.
    • Express: While in express option, the money will reach the recipient within the first few hours after the transfer is made. With the Express, transfers from the United States to India are available within 4 banking hours. However, you have a lower exchange rate and in some cases, it attracts a higher transaction fee than the economy option. You can pay with your debit card or credit card.
  • Rates - Remitly exchange rates are very competitive in the market. The rates are updated daily to stay consistent with market fluctuations. Make sure you check out Remitly’s rates before sending money.
  • Fees - Depending on your choice of payment and receiving option, you can attract higher fees. For example, if you are sending money through Remitly’s Express service using a credit card. However, when you send $1001 and above, the fees will be waived in most cases. Check out Remitly offers and promotions.
  • Customer Service - Their customer service support is available in five different languages such as English, French, Spanish, Filipino, and Vietnamese. For English speakers, customer support is available 24/7, all-year-round through a phone call, chat, or email.

Different Ways of Sending Money Through Remitly

There are multiple ways of sending and receiving money through Remitly. Your payment for the money transfer can be made from your bank account, debit card, or credit card. Your recipient has the option to receive the money whether in their bank account or cash pickup at one of their 140,000 agent locations around the world. They also have the money home delivered to your recipients in a few select countries. 

Do keep in mind that all the delivery options are not available in all the locations. For example, Remitly India allows you to send money to India into bank accounts only. 

Limitations of sending Money Through Remitly

Certain payment methods like credit card payments can attract higher fees. Here is what you need to know before sending money through a credit card. In addition, Remitly has lower transfer limits compared to other competitors depending on your tier you have been allocated as per their approval process. In any case, make sure you compare the limits, rates, and fees on CompareRemit to get an idea before remitting your hard-earned money. 

If you want to raise your transfer limits, you will have to provide additional personal information. For example, if you want to send above $2,999 in 24 hours, you’ll need to provide details like your SSN (Social Security Number) or ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number) to send the larger amount. 

Sometimes Remitly reviews your transfer and might ask for certain documentation based on the location you are sending the money from. They usually ask for a driver's license, bank statements, passport, and even might ask the reason for your transfer. This is only for security reasons in accordance with their anti-money laundering regulations.

Transfer Limit

If you are looking to send a large sum of money, check out our blog on the best way to remit a large amount of money.

Remitly around the world 

Currently, Remitly provides money transfer services to over 40 countries around the world. Following are the services provided by Remitly, continent wise -

Asia

  • Send money directly to India bank accounts such as Bank of Baroda, Punjab National Bank, Citi Bank, State Bank of India, Axis Bank, HDFC, and ICICI Bank.
  • Send money directly to a bank account or instantly to any of the 13,500+ cash pickup locations in the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, China, South Korea, Nepal, Pakistan, Malaysia, and Thailand.
  • Send money directly to your recipient’s doorstep with Home Delivery through Sacombank in Vietnam.
  • Send money to mobile wallets in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and the Philippines

Europe

  • Send money directly to bank accounts or instantly to over 12,500 cash pickup locations in Poland, Turkey, Romania, and Bulgaria.
  • Send money directly to a bank account in Croatia, Hungary, and the Czech Republic.

Latin America & The Caribbean

  • Send money directly to a bank account or to 57,000+ cash pickup locations in Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Ecuador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, Colombia, Paraguay, Peru, Haiti, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic.
  • In Mexico, you can send money to over 25,000 cash pickup locations namely Byancomer, Elektra, BanCoppel, Bansefi, and many more, or have the money delivered right to your recipient’s doorstep with Caribe Express in the Dominican Republic. Remitly was also featured in the best ways to send money to Mexico.

Africa

  • Send money directly to a bank account in Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, Rwanda, and Morocco.
  • Send money instantly to over 11,500 cash pickup locations in Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Senegal, Morocco, Tunisia, South Africa, and Egypt.
  • Send money instantly to mobile wallets namely M-Pesa in Kenya and other major Mobile Money operators in Rwanda, Uganda, and Ghana.

Passbook: Remitly's Entry Into Neo-Banking

In the early month of February this year, Remitly has announced a new system of neobank to the world by launching Passbook. Remitly's online-only bank, Passbook will operate as a virtual one with no physical office.

Remitly has been serving the immigrant population through its core service offering of providing remittances. Recognizing that there is still a huge overlap between the typical Remitly’s target customer, who is an immigrant, and those living in a country like the US, who are underbanked.

For the millions of people in the US, transcending beyond the immigrant population, this means greater financial inclusion. Passbook will allow them to open and use bank accounts even if they are not under the Social Security numbers or other forms of US-originated identification.

Features of Passbook

Passbook

  • Zero fees for transactions, when the card is used abroad 
  • Zero account maintenance fees
  • Zero overdraft fees
  • Zero ATM fees
  • Zero minimum balance.

Different money transfer companies focus on different competitive advantages, Remitly’s mission to leverage technology to solve the global challenge of high cost and the lack of transparency has inspired many human stories. The marketing campaign to humanize remittance called #WhyISend by Remitly was even nominated for Shorty Social Good Awards. A global program awarding brands, agencies, and organizations who have made positive impacts on society. Follow us on Twitter @CompareRemit for more updates.

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